Thursday, January 31, 2013

LED Lights. RV Safes. Get Online. CC when Towing. "Montana LLC"? Landing Gear. RV Fridge Level. Pvt. Slovik.


For “tRaVersing Thursday” or RV Day:

LED Lighting for your RV, by Dometic

“Mark Polk with RV Education 101 demonstrates how easy it is to add LED lighting to the exterior of your RV using LED light kits by Dometic. You have your choice of the Dometic 7-Color LED Light Kit, Lateral Awning Arm LED Light Kit, Universal LED Light Kit or the Add On LED Light Kit. Add a splash of color to your RV.”

Superior Lighting for RVs    ”Dometic's LED lighting products extend the fun of your RV. Add the LED light strips to your awning, steps, hatches and more, so you can keep enjoying your RV even when the sun goes down. All of the light strips can be trimmed to create custom lengths that fit your RV. Most light strips come with a remote control with dimmer features. Some even let you control the color of the lights! Add some light and fun to your RV today!”

How to create a secure hiding place for valuables in your RV

“There are many places to create ‘out of sight’ hiding places in your RV. It's difficult to steal something quickly when a burglar doesn't know where to look. One common ‘hideout’ is a small container buried inside food packages such as coffee, cereal, sugar, rice etc.

Another is to buy a product that looks like a common household item, but is actually a safe. BrickHouse Security, for example, has a simple and affordable solution that's as discreet as it is clever. Its hairbrush/safe is the last place someone would look for your valuables. It looks like a normal hairbrush. But, instead, the brush opens up to a hollow compartment. It's a good place for a valuable ring, or maybe a few $50 bills for an emergency.

Other ideas:

Screw bottle lids to the hidden underside of a cupboard, place valuables in bottles and attach to the lids. This method is time-consuming to find when in a hurry.

•Install, hide or camouflage a fire-resistant safe, or use a hollow ‘California style safe’ that resembles cleaning products/spray cans with a false bottom. When stored with other cleaning supplies, finding the ‘safe’ takes too long.

•Store valuable papers in the freezer – it’s the last place to burn.

•Attach a storage tray behind the plate of an electric plug-in socket assembly. Install to resemble a ‘plug-in.’

•Areas behind a false panel, or under a drawer make a great large secret hide-away.

But the bottom line: use caution and common sense to keep your RV secure.”  By Peggi McDonald and Chuck Woodbury


Furnace Tip:

Your furnace works less when

“On cold nights, some RVers believe that if they cover up or shut the vents except the one in their bedroom that they will save propane and be warmer. Bad idea. When you do this, the furnace can overheat, and it will trip the high limit safety switch. If this happens too often, eventually the limit switch will burn out and the furnace will shut down. The rule of thumb is to always leave no fewer than three vents open at all times.” And keep cats off them!


Chuck Woodbury provides a tip about getting online while on the road.

“McDonald's, Tim Hortons, Dunkin' Donut ... lots of good locations to get FREE WiFi.”


What about cruise control and overdrive when towing?

2New RVer asks: “When towing a travel trailer, can you use the cruise control? What about an overdrive transmission? These are questions that can puzzle new RVers -- and even some veterans. Here are some thoughts.”



Save big money buying an RV with a "Montana LLC"? Read this first.

but you're not purchasing

“Considering the purchase of a high-value RV? Want to save a bit of money on sales tax and registration fees? Why not form a Montana LLC -- Limited Liability Company -- and buy your motorhome sales-tax free, and benefit from really low vehicle registration fees? A good deal? Depends. But be careful. You could get in trouble. Read more.”


Maintain and troubleshoot fifth-wheel landing gear issues

Many fifth-wheel owners take their front landing gear for granted -- until it doesn't work right. A little preventative maintenance can stop problems before they start. Here are some maintenance suggestions, and a few trouble-shooting ideas if it's too late.”


How level must an RV fridge be when NOT operating?

Dear Gary,
“I understand it is recommended that RV refrigerators be level when operating, but how far "off level" can we keep the RV without damage to the refrigerator when the refrigerator is NOT in operation? I notice you recommend slightly off level for winter storage.” --Pete S., (Redwood City, CA)     Read Gary's response.


Nearby smokers are a problem. What to do?

imagesCAPQ3HFCDear R.V. Shrink: 
”Could someone share with me the proper protocol when you have neighbors who smoke? I'm allergic to smoke and for some reason, most of the smokers stand outside to smoke...I guess so their RV doesn't smell of smoke. However, it's right outside our windows and the smoke comes in. Consequently, we have to shut our windows to keep the smoke out. I realize that this is MY problem but the only solution I see is for us to move to another site...and hope another smoker doesn't park next to us. This doesn't happen very often but when it does it sets allergies in motion and we are forced to use the AC to keep cool.” --Nick O. Tine    Read the Shrink's response.

“WOW, I could see this as an issue for many and wouldn't it be nice if parks had "non-smoking" areas to park at for people that the smoke really bothers. I'm allergic myself, so I totally understand.”


What is a park model RV or recreational park trailer?

to the trailer park model

“Recreational Park Trailers or RPTs are designed to be used as temporary living quarters for recreation, camping, or seasonal use. In many cases these seasonal cottages are taken to a vacation spot, set-up and left there. This can be in an RV park, resort area, or a tranquil location in the mountains or on the coast, usually within a few hours drive from the owner’s residence. RPTs come in various designs but are normally one of two types. Read more.”


Bumper Snicker of the week
"I love to give homemade gifts. Which of my kids would you like?"


Periodically, check your RV's stock of flashlight batteries. And make sure you have a couple of flashlights aboard your RV. They come in handy in dark campgrounds and can be life savers in emergencies. It's also a good idea to carry a battery-powered radio. Even better is a radio that operates after it is briefly hand-cranked.


On This Day:

The execution of Pvt. Slovik, Jan 31, 1945:

“On this day, Pvt. Eddie Slovik becomes the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion-and the only one who suffered such a fate during World War II.

Pvt. Eddie Slovik was a draftee. Originally classified 4-F because of a prison record (grand theft auto), he was reclassified 1-A when draft standards were lowered to meet growing personnel needs. In January 1944, he was trained to be a rifleman, which was not to his liking, as he hated guns.

In August of the same year, Slovik was shipped to France to fight with the 28th Infantry Division, which had already suffered massive casualties in France and Germany. Slovik was a replacement, a class of soldier not particular respected by officers. As he and a companion were on the way to the front lines, they became lost in the chaos of battle and stumbled upon a Canadian unit that took them in.

Slovik stayed on with the Canadians until October 5, when they turned him and his buddy over to the American military police. They were reunited with the 28th Division, which had been moved to Elsenborn, Belgium. No charges were brought, as replacements getting lost early on in their tours of duty were not unusual. But exactly one day after Slovik returned to his unit, he claimed he was "too scared and too nervous" to be a rifleman, and threatened to run away if forced into combat. His confession was ignored-and Slovik took off. One day later he returned and signed a confession of desertion, claiming he would run away again if forced to fight, and submitted it to an officer of the 28th. The officer advised Slovik to take the confession back, as the consequences were serious. Slovik refused and was confined to the stockade.

The 28th Division had many cases of soldiers wounding themselves or deserting in the hopes of a prison sentence that might protect them from the perils of combat. A legal officer of the 28th offered Slovik a deal: dive into combat immediately and avoid the court-martial. Slovik refused. He was tried on November 11 for desertion and was convicted in less than two hours. The nine-officer court-martial panel passed a unanimous sentence of execution, "to be shot to death with musketry."

Slovik's appeal failed. It was held that he "directly challenged the authority" of the United States and that "future discipline depends upon a resolute reply to this challenge." Slovik had to pay for his recalcitrant attitude, and the military made an example of him. One last appeal was made-to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander-but the timing was bad for mercy. The Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes forest was resulting in literally thousands of American casualties, not to mention the second largest surrender of an U.S. Army unit during the war. Eisenhower upheld the death sentence.

Slovik was shot and killed by a 12-man firing squad in eastern France. None of the rifleman even flinched, firmly believing Slovik had gotten what he deserved.”



Misty and I had our walk down at Jay’s, when we picked him up to go shopping.  It was very windy, and I was glad that I had put Misty’s coat on her.

We went to a couple of thrift shops, but mainly to Angelic to donate the monitor that had gone sour on me.  They have someone who fixes them, and then they can sell it.  One less item to clutter up my house.  While I was there, I bought another large monitor, ($40) as I didn’t like using my spare one, as it is only 15”.  When I bought it, I thought it was great, but after having used a larger one, it wasn’t so great after all.

We were wrapped up in coats buttoned up to the top.  Some places it was even hard to open doors on such a windy day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blue-billed Curassow. Male House Finch. Ecological Traps. Vultures Save People. Albatrosses. Peregrines, Arctic Terns, and Swans... Shots Fired in Capitol. Gandhi.


For “Winged Wednesday”:

Blue-billed Curassow

Blue-billed Curassow by ProAves

“The Blue-billed Curassow is a large, ground-dwelling bird closely related to turkeys and guans. The male is glossy black with a curly black crest, white undertail and tail tip, and pinkish-white legs. Its bill is decorated with a fleshy blue cere (a waxy structure covering the base of the bill) and wattle. The female is also black, with black-and-white crest feathers and white barring on wings and tail, plus a rufous lower belly and undertail.

This bird forages on the forest floor for fruit, seeds, and small invertebrates. It roosts in trees for protection; these roost sites are near feeding areas and are often used for several days running.

Blue-billed Curassow populations have declined dramatically due to to habitat loss. Huge areas of its lowland forest range have been cleared for livestock farming, crop cultivation, oil extraction, and mining. Another significant threat comes from local people, who hunt these birds and take their eggs for food.

In 2004, ABC and Colombian partner Fundación ProAves established the El Paujíl Reserve to protect this species. El Paujíl now protects over 14,830 acres of lowland forest in the Magdalena Valley, and has been recognized by Alliance for Zero Extinction as the place where the overwhelming majority of Blue-billed Curassow are now found. ABC and ProAves continue habitat protection and restoration here, as well as educational outreach, job-training programs for local women, and tourism.

Help ABC conserve this and other birds and their habitats!

Photo: Fundación ProAves; Range Map, NatureServe


Male House Finch

"The male house finch retains his brilliant colors throughout winter, making him a welcome sight on a cold, snowy day," says Montana photographer Jeanette Tasey.

“Originally only a resident of Mexico and the southwestern United States, they were introduced to eastern North America in the 1940s. The birds were sold illegally in New York City as "Hollywood Finches", a marketing artifice.

Adult female

To avoid prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, vendors and owners released the birds. They have become naturalized; in largely unforested land across the Eastern U.S., they have displaced the native Purple Finch and even the non-native House Sparrow. In 1870, or before, they were introduced into Hawaii and are known abundant on all its islands.”


Nonnative Plants: Ecological Traps

imagesCA07TC7N Offering alluring habitat for songbirds, exotic plants may actually decrease the animals' long-term survival and fitness

“ASIAN HONEYSUCKLES ARE BEAUTIFUL AND SHOWY BUSHES. Their white and pink flowers can fill the air with fragrance. Songbirds, including northern cardinals, American robins and gray catbirds, flock to nest in the plants’ dense leaves and gorge on their smorgasbord of red and yellow berries.

But these lush plants have a darker side. Since Amur honeysuckle and other Asian species were introduced to the United States in the 1800s, birds have spread their seeds across the eastern part of the country, creating dense thickets everywhere from Vermont to Ohio. The deep shade cast by honeysuckle has devastated countless native plants. “Spring and summer wildflowers are just annihilated,” says ecologist Amanda Rodewald of Ohio State University.

So, too, are tree seedlings such as sugar maple as well as native herbs. At Ohio’s Miami University, ecologist David Gorchov compared the survival of these plants in areas where honeysuckle was removed to areas where the bushes were left intact. “We thought that some native plants would be affected by honeysuckle, while others would not be,” he says. “But we found that everything we looked at was affected.” Tree seedling survival was reduced up to 70 percent, and herb growth and reproduction rates plunged by up to 80 percent, primarily because of the shade cast by honeysuckle, Gorchov hypothesizes.”  More at:


Save the Vultures… and Save Thousands of People

The photo of a giant vulture that died after eating the drug-tainted carcass of livestock.  CREDIT: Munir Virani

“Vultures are more valuable than you may think, or at least they were.

In the 1980s, more than 40 million vultures existed throughout India, where they ate about 12 million tons (11 million metric tons) of rotting flesh each year, according to the environmental writer Tony Juniper. Today, however, vulture populations have been reduced to only a few tens of thousands, and three of the most important species are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They have declined largely because ranchers started giving their cattle an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac that is toxic to the birds, which eat dead cattle, Juniper writes. Without vultures to eat this festering morass, wild dogs have taken their place and populations have boomed. The dogs have, in turn, spread rabies by biting humans, killing an estimated 50,000 people in the last couple decades, according to Juniper.”  More at:


The Albatross Task Force

“Albatrosses are natural scavengers and will fly behind fishing vessels looking for a tasty bite to eat. Unfortunately, in trying to get to bait set to catch fish, many get caught on the large hooks instead, and are dragged under the water and drown.

Is the Wandering Albatross about to fly into the sunset for the final time? LEXsample/Lex van Groningen

To prevent the biggest flying seabird from disappearing from our skies forever, we realised that we had to get fishermen involved, and in 2006 the Albatross Task Force was born.
This team travel on board fishing vessels demonstrating the simple techniques to avoid albatrosses dying horrible deaths on hooks. But, the Task Force need your help to continue saving the albatross from extinction.  Read more about the campaign at:

“Every year, 100,000 albatrosses are killed needlessly by drowning on the end of fishing hooks. 19 of the 22 species of albatross in the world are threatened with extinction, largely because of longline fishing. If you can help us act now, the Save the Albatross campaign can help stop these magnificent birds from becoming extinct. Your money can fund the Albatross Task Force teams and their urgent work to train fishermen to keep seabirds off the hook.”   We need your help. To find out more, visit:


Great 4-minute video from Japan about the Short-tailed Albatross conservation project.  Moving some albatrosses from the danger of a volcanic island to a new island:

From me: They only have one baby every two years, so it is hard for the species to catch up with the deaths.




BirdNote Weekly Preview: Peregrines, Arctic Terns, and Swans ...

Upcoming Shows

Peregrine Falcon

SUNDAY Peregrine Comeback by Ellen Blackstone LISTEN NOW

Protecting Birds From Wind Power by Todd Peterson LISTEN NOW

Common Tern /
Arctic Tern

TUESDAY Why Arctic Terns Have Short Beaks by Dennis Paulson LISTEN NOW

Clapper Rail

WEDNESDAY California Clapper Rails on San Francisco Bay by Bob Sundstrom LISTEN NOW

Barred Owl

THURSDAY A Barred Owl Revives by Chris Peterson LISTEN NOW

Trumpeter Swans

FRIDAY Trumpeter Swans - Knowledge Bringers featuring Martha Jordan LISTEN NOW

Myth of the Thunderbird by Frances Wood LISTEN


On This Day:

Shots fired in the House of Representatives, Jan 30, 1835:

“In the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol, President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, survives the first attempt against the life of a U.S. president.

During a funeral service honoring the late Representative Warren R. Davis of South Carolina, a man identified as Richard Lawrence discharged two separate pistols in the direction of President Jackson. Both weapons misfired, and Lawrence was promptly subdued and arrested. During the subsequent criminal investigation, the suspect was found to be insane and was sent to a mental prison. Three decades later, President Abraham Lincoln would become the first president to be assassinated.”


Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi, Jan 30, 1948:

“Mohandas Gandhi, the world's chief advocate of non-violence, is assassinated in New Delhi by a terrorist sponsored by a right-wing Hindu militia group. The murder came only 10 days after a failed attempt on Gandhi's life. Thirty-nine-year-old Nathuram Godse shot the great Indian leader as he made his way through a small crowd to lead a prayer session.

The father of Indian independence had angered Hindu extremists by his efforts to bring peace in the wake of the British withdrawal from India. Muslims and Hindus had been fighting a civil war since the decision to the Muslim-dominated western region of India had become separated as Pakistan. Religious-inspired riots were breaking out all over India when Gandhi went on a hunger strike in September 1947.

In an effort to end India's religious strife, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas. He was on one such vigil in New Delhi when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi's tolerance for the Muslims, fatally shot him. Known as Mahatma, or "the great soul," during his lifetime, Gandhi's persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced leaders of civil rights movements around the world, especially Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.”



Jay called me from HEB grocery store, he was there with a neighbor, and asked me if I wanted anything.  I asked him why he was there, when he said he would be here.  So he called when he returned home, and Misty and I went to get him. 

Jay and I pulled out all the nails from the two wagon loads of used lumber that we had brought up here, and stacked it neatly in the lumber piles. 

It was overcast, very windy, but tank top and shorts weather.  It looked and smelled like it was going to rain, but didn’t until 8.30 PM.

Pete, the mechanic in Conroe, called to tell me that my van needed an ignition coil and canister purge valve, ($136 + labor)and that it would be finished in the afternoon.

Claudia, Jay and I went to get it, and then they went shopping.  Now the van runs like it knows what it is doing!!  The only place I stopped was Petsmart, as Miss Priss eats a lot of canned food each day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flower Mound, TX. Grapevine Lake. Kansas. Queen of Hawaii. U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame.


For “Travel Tuesday”: Let’s visit Flower Mound, TX.

Question: “Which place in Texas has the least amount of violent crimes committed?”

Answer:  “Flower Mound town is the place in Texas with the least amount of violent crimes committed. In 2005 there were 49 violent crimes committed for every 100,000 residents.” 

#Region.R_Description#“It is in the Texas Prairies and Lakes Region which offers a wide variety of destinations & attractions, from the fast-paced cosmopolitan excitement of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with the best in shopping, dining & entertainment, to the beautiful lakes & laid-back country lifestyles found throughout the region. Discover the Excitement of the Texas Prairies & Lakes.”

“ Flower Mound is an incorporated town in Denton and Tarrant counties in the U.S. state of Texas and a suburb of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Located northwest of Dallas and northeast of Fort Worth adjacent to Grapevine Lake, the town derives its name from a prominent 12.5-acre mound located in the southern portion of the town.

images[5]After using the site for religious camps during the 1840s, the area around Flower Mound was first settled in the 1850s; however, residents did not incorporate until 1961. Although an effort to create a planned community failed in the early 1970s, Flower Mound's population increased substantially when Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened to the south of the town in 1974. Its population was 50,702 as of the 2000 United States Census, making it one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the United States.

Flower Mound is a residential suburban community of 20,000 acres on the shore of Grapevine Lake. It was established soon after Sam Houston settled a tribal dispute in 1844 and Indian raids in the area ceased. Permanent settlers moved in, attracted by the quality of the soil, which was suitable for raising cotton, corn, and wheat. The Peters colony named the town for a fifty-foot-high mound covered with Indian paintbrush; the mound was once used by Indians as a holy place. Unlike many pioneer settlements in Denton County that were bypassed by the railroads in the late nineteenth century or unable to survive the Great Depression, Flower Mound maintained a steady population throughout the first four decades of the twentieth century and became a substantial farming and cattle-raising community.

images[1] In the mid-1950s the town began to grow. The increase in the number of residents was a result of the construction by the United States Corps of Engineers of Grapevine Lake, which was completed on July 2, 1953. The lake stimulated the economy of the community and attracted workers who preferred to live outside the central Dallas area. Flower Mound was incorporated on February 27, 1961.”


Trails of Flower Mound

id_4385222The Purple Coneflower Trail

“Flower Mound maintains more than 680 acres of parkland. This includes approximately 32.6 miles of multipurpose trails that link together parks, neighborhoods, schools, and businesses and two miles of equestrian trails. There are nine miles of equestrian trails and 14 miles of unpaved hike and bike trails for public use within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park property along the northern shores of Grapevine Lake. Many of Flower Mound's neighborhood parks offer a variety of playgrounds, covered picnic shelters, cooking grills, park benches, and basketball play pads. Residents also enjoy numerous youth and adult baseball, softball, football, and soccer fields, and public tennis courts.
This Tour was developed in cooperation with the Town of Flower Mound. The Purple Coneflower Trail is the first Guided Tour available on Current plans include guided tours for all the trails in Flower Mound and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park property along the northern shores of Grapevine Lake.

imagesCA5N2SIDJohn Thomas Wildflower Preserve

The John Thomas Wildflower Preserve is one of the largest areas for wildflowers in the Town of Flower Mound. It is second only to the Flower Mound. It was named after former Parks, Arts, and Library Services Board member John Thomas who was an advocate for the expansion and improvement of the parks and trails system in Flower Mound.

It is home to many different wildflower species throughout the growing season. This is a great place to view butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife. Bring your camera!”

id_4386041 id_4386043 id_4386044 id_4386045

 Stone Creek Park

id_4386083In this area of Stone Creek Park there are numerous water features to observe just a short distance off of the trail, you may also notice small fish or even the paw prints of a raccoon. This location also makes good riparian habitat for many of areas furrier residents.”

id_4386100 id_4386105


Grapevine Lake

The lake's earthen dam

Lake and its parks


“If you enjoy walking the trails then please join the free all women's walking group at  We're a sociable ladies walking group free of charge who meet at Flower Mound/Grapevine trails that walk in all types of weather and encourage you to bring your dogs.”  

Parks and trails

Crosstimbers horse trail.

The north shore of Grapevine lake.

“Numerous parks surround the lake. Some of the parks are owned, leased or maintained by the local community. Others remain in the Corp of Engineer's control. The area contains 30 miles (50 km) of natural surface trails including nature, biking and equestrian trails.

Trails listed by the Corps of Engineers include the nine mile (14 km) Northshore trail, the three mile (5 km) Rocky Point trail, the five mile (8 km) Crosstimbers horse trail, and the four mile (6 km) Knob Hill trail.


Murrell park

The lake has primitive camping, prepared camping sites, and trailer / RV camping.

Murrell park currently has tent and primitive camping, but is undergoing an expansion to increase camping facilities.

The Vineyards Campground



Vineyards campground, managed by the city of Grapevine, offers site camping, RV parking, and cabins.



Fishing and hunting

The lake is home to a number of fish species, including largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, white crappie, and channel catfish. Fishing regulations of most species are managed under statewide regulations. The exception is a 14 to 18 inch (36 to 46 cm) slot limit on largemouth bass; only bass between 14 inches (36 cm) and 18 inches (46 cm) may be retained. Daily bag limit for all species of black bass is 5 in any combination. Murrell Park, a premier spot for catching sand and black bass on the north shore, was heavily damaged in the summer 2007 flood and was partially closed.imagesCAC7N4VY

With a permit and in season, public hunting is allowed in the Trophy Club Park area (formerly Marshall Creek Park), located at the north-west end of the lake. Waterfowl and small game hunting, as well as bow hunting of feral hogs and deer is permitted. Hunting licenses are obtained from the state of Texas and an additional permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required.



On March 24, 2010, Kris Howe found four bones of a 96 million year old bird. Two Dallas scientists say that the bird is the oldest in America.



Marinas and boating

There is great lake dining

There are three marinas located on the lake, all operated by the private company Marinas International. On the south shore, in Grapevine, are Scott's Landing and Silver Lake.

Lake Grapevine Twin Coves

On the north shore, in Flower Mound, is Twin Coves. The marinas support an active boating community on the lake; combined, the three marinas have approximately 1,400 moorings, with land-based storage for an additional 575 vessels.

Twin Coves Park

Lake Grapevine is an 8,000 acre lake, great for all water-based activities like boating, water-skiing, wind surfing and fishing . You can also go camping and picnic on the shores.”

 Grapevine Lake at sunset




I hope you enjoyed touring the area of Flower Mound, TX


On This Day:

Divided Kansas enters the Union, Jan 29, 1861:

“The territory of Kansas is admitted into the Union as the 34th state, or the 28th state if the secession of eight Southern states over the previous six weeks is taken into account. Kansas, deeply divided over the issue of slavery, was granted statehood as a free state in a gesture of support for Kansas' militant anti-slavery forces, which had been in armed conflict with pro-slavery groups since Kansas became a territory in 1854.

Trouble in territorial Kansas began with the signing of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act by President Franklin Pierce. The act stipulated that settlers in the newly created territories of Nebraska and Kansas would decide by popular vote whether their territory would be free or slave. In early 1855, Kansas' first election proved a violent affair, as more than 5,000 so-called Border Ruffians invaded the territory from western Missouri and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. To prevent further bloodshed, Andrew H. Reeder, appointed territorial governor by President Pierce, reluctantly approved the election. A few months later, the Kansas Free State forces were formed, armed by supporters in the North and featuring the leadership of militant abolitionist John Brown.

During the next four years, raids, skirmishes, and massacres continued in "Bleeding Kansas," as it became popularly known. The territory's admittance into the Union in January 1861 only increased tension, but just three and a half months later the irrepressible differences in Kansas were swallowed up by the full-scale outbreak of the American Civil War. During the Civil War, Kansas suffered the highest rate of fatal casualties of any Union state, largely because of its great internal divisions over the issue of slavery.”


Liliuokalani proclaimed queen of Hawaii, Jan 29, 1891:

“Following the death of her brother, King Kalakaua, Liliuokalani becomes the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaii, first settled by Polynesian voyagers sometime in the eighth century, saw a massive influx of American settlers during the 19th century, most coming to exploit Hawaii's burgeoning sugar industry. In 1887, under pressure from U.S. investors and American sugar planters, King Kalakaua agreed to a new constitution that stripped him of much of his power. However, in 1891, Liliuokalani ascended to the throne and refused to recognize the constitution of 1887, replacing it instead with a constitution that restored the monarchy's traditional authority.

Two years later, a revolutionary "Committee of Safety," organized by Sanford B. Dole, a Hawaiian-born American, staged a coup against Queen Liliuokalani with the support of U.S. Minister John Stevens and a division of U.S. Marines. Stevens recognized Dole's new government on his own authority and proclaimed Hawaii a U.S. protectorate. Dole submitted a treaty of annexation to the U.S. Senate, but most Democrats opposed it, especially after it was revealed that most Hawaiians did not want annexation. President Grover Cleveland sent a new U.S. minister to Hawaii to restore Queen Liliuokalani to the throne under the 1887 constitution, but Dole refused to step aside and instead proclaimed the independent Republic of Hawaii, which was organized into a U.S. territory in 1900.

Liliuokalani herself spent much of the remainder of her life in the United States, where she unsuccessfully petitioned the federal government for compensation for seized property and other losses. The territorial legislature of Hawaii finally voted her an annual pension of $4,000 and permitted her to receive the income from a small sugar plantation. In additional to her political fame, Liliuokalani is also known for composing many Hawaiian songs, including the popular "Aloha Oe," which translates to "Farewell to Thee."


U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members, Jan 29, 1936:

“On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.

The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area's Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game's greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939--thought by many to be the centennial of baseball--the Baseball Writers' Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.

Today, with approximately 350,000 visitors per year, the Hall of Fame continues to be the hub of all things baseball. It has elected 278 individuals, in all, including 225 players, 17 managers, 8 umpires and 28 executives and pioneers.”



Ray and I were scheduled to drop my van off at the mechanic on the way to the Orientation Class for the SPCA’s new cat habitat at Petco in Conroe.  We had both volunteered to tend to the cats 2-3 mornings a month.  Ray was still feeling dreadful after having his two abscessed teeth out, and begged off.  

Claudia had already said that she would take me, and Jay, her son wanted to go too.   I walked Misty around here, and even went a bit further than we usually walk.

We dropped off my van, and I was the only one at the orientation.  Another SPCA mom had come into town especially to show me the ropes.  First, I had to sign a bunch of release type forms, and I was given a folder of guidelines. Then we found out that even though the habitat already had some cats in it, the key wasn’t there yet.  The morning shift is supposed to make sure they have clean boxes and water, then give them some canned food.  Fortunately, the cats were in good shape and had dry food and water, so the afternoon shift had to give them their canned food.

Jay was very overbearing and Claudia had had enough of him.  Even though she had a doctor’s appointment in a town south of Conroe, she brought us home, so she could go without him.

I had a big scare with my computer. I turned it on and a black screen said there was something wrong with my keyboard, so I replaced it.  Still a black screen, but I could hear Windows music starting up.  Tried another keyboard, same thing.  Changed monitors, that worked, but it wanted me to do a Windows system restore. I set it for a few days earlier, but I had lost this whole post which had taken me nearly three hours to write. 

I was so absolutely sick of computers, and was going to swear off them forever.  Then I realized the business deals that I have going on, which shackles me to the blasted things.

Then I remembered that I have Windows Log File, and the draft of this post would be in there, so here is your post for today.